Sunday, April 21, 2013

Remembering Maureen Woods


On April 12, 2013 Maureen was presented with the Saskatchewan Library Association's
Francis Morrison Award which recognizes the exceptional contributions to library services and the library community . The nomination letter submitted by Jeff Barber, Director and CEO of the Regina Public Library highlights Maureen's contributions to the Canadian library community.


Maureen Shelagh Woods
On April 13, 2013 Maureen passed in Regina, Saskatchewan after a five month struggle with cancer. Daughter of Mervyn and Agnes Scott Woods (predeceased), cherished youngest sibling of Mervyn Scott Woods (Bernadette), Laurie Burgess (Spence) and Will Woods (Margaret), loving aunt to Rhett, Bree, Megan and Caley and their partners and great-aunt extraordinaire to Kiki and Sam, great librarian, community activist and community development worker. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on February 3, 1953, and died on April 13, 2013. Maureen graduated Campbell Collegiate and then the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Arts before attending the University of Alberta to gain a Bachelor of Library Science. Maureen began her career with the Regina Public Library in 1976, transforming both Connaught and Albert libraries into viable, vibrant, effective institutions in North Central Regina. She became a member of the Northern Library Council and moved to La Ronge following her goal of ensuring that every child in Saskatchewan had equal access to library services. In 1993, during the trying times of the information explosion she became the Saskatchewan Provincial Librarian. Her life path took her to Alberta where she was the head of the Alberta Library Electronic Network after which she moved to British Columbia in 2002 becoming the Director of Public Library Services for British Columbia. There she helped develop a comprehensive library plan that has since been referenced all over North America. In 2010, Maureen returned to her beloved Regina and as Director of Saskatchewan Information and Library Services she helped to achieve her dream of equal, universal access to library services. In an event of cosmic timing she was nominated for the Francis Morrison Saskatchewan Library Award and received said honour on April 3, 2013, in the company of family good friends and good friends who were also colleagues. As well as an accomplished library administrator Maureen was a beloved family member, friend and colleague as evidenced by her many nicknames: Moe, Schmoe, Moie (Maureen Shoelace Woods to her father when she was a child) are just a few. She demonstrated an intelligent, empathetic love for those she came in touch with. Her strong sense of feminism and sisterhood bonded her in a sorority of many, strong, loving women that in no way excluded her male friends who both as extra-familial sisters and brothers, celebrated her achievements and supported her in her struggles both professional and personal. They were with her in her last few days, often flying great distances to be with her, a great comfort. She was a loving, thoughtful, caring sister who could offer, if asked, sage, humanist advice or just an ear or a shoulder. She was the doting aunt who made the best Halloween costumes possible, who encouraged nieces and nephews to be strong and fair. Her passing leaves a void that will not be filled. Maureen did not want a service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Maureen's name to: Read Together Regina (attention: Books for Babies), Regina Public Library Director's Office, Box 2311, Regina, SK, S4P 3Z5 or contributions to an award in Maureen's name at the University of Alberta Library School may be made via www.slis.ualberta.ca/ choose "Make a Gift" and then designate the gift "in memory of Maureen Woods."
Published in The Regina Leader-Post on April 17, 2013